What’s in a Name? Um, Only EVERYTHING.

Every single person’s identity begins with their name (which makes sense as it is in fact, you know, your identity). Every single name also holds a certain unwritten connotation to it. For instance name your kid Apple, and well, we’re all going to think you’re kind of fruity. (Ha Pun!). Name your kid Hubert, we’re going to assume he’s a nerd (or 95 years old). Since the beginning of time parents have been inadvertently choosing the futures of their children at their birth, through the simple choice of a name.

“This seems like a bold statement, Amanda.”

Oh ya? Don’t believe me? Well let’s explore this a little.

Does this look like a Skip Schumaker?
Or does this?

If you chose the first picture, you’re obviously a liar because no one thinks Skip Schumaker is a scientist name. Skip Schumaker is clearly the best baseball name that has ever existed. You don’t call your kid Skip and not expect him to do something athletic.

Does someone named Landry Jones resemble this?
Or is Landry Jones this guy?
If you did not get this one right, I just don’t even know what to say. The top picture is clearly Landry Jones. How is someone not going to be a quarterback if his name is Landry? I mean seriously? Landry Jones does not grow up to become Donut Man. Rob Evans does. (Because Rob is a Donut Man kind of name)

Next. Is this a Cal Clutterbuck?

Or is this?
I hope you chose the first picture because if you think someone named Cal Clutterbuck is a successful businessman, well I’m worried about you. Cal Clutterbuck is most definitely a hockey player name. (With some serious dapper dan hair)

This next one is tricky. Think carefully before you answer.
Is this Steve Urkel?
 Or is this Steve Urkel?
I know what you’re thinking. “That’s the same person. He’s just wearing suspenders and glasses in one picture.” FALSE. Photo 1 is Steve Urkel. Urkel is an obvious nerd name. The second is Stefan Urquelle. Urquelle is clearly the name of suave womanizer. Just look at them. Their names make sense. Steve’s the nerd, Stefan the womanizer.

See what I mean? Those are just a few of the many, many examples. If someone is given a nerd name at birth, they grow into that nerdhood against their own will. It just happens. If they’re given a baseball name, they have to play baseball. There is no other option. I’m sure there is a scientific explanation for why this works. But I wasn’t given a scientist name, so I wouldn’t know. (You’ll have to ask an Albert)

I was unfortunately given a very neutral name. I could have been named Petunia or Bruhnhilda. But I was given the name Amanda. It’s a little bland. Amanda Badley. That’s what I’ve got to work with. Obviously I’m bound to a life of mediocrity. Maybe if my parents had named me something like, Persephone (Just Persephone, no middle or last name) I would be a pop singer in Europe. Or had I been named Gretchen Jones Badley I could have dropped the last name and been Gretchen Jones, famous mystery novel author. But alas, I’m stuck with Amanda. (thanks MOM)

So moral of the story is, name your children carefully. If you name your daughter Ginger, she’s not going to become a diplomat (and she’s definitely going to have red hair). If you name your son Spike, he’ll for sure become a member of a bike gang. Watch yourselves guys. You choose your child’s profession with a simple signing of a birth certificate.

Now if anyone needs me I’ll just be here sinking into my mediocrity as I pin on my name-tag that reads “Amanda” in plain black letters, headed to my job at the food court Pretzelrama.*

*I don’t really work at the Pretzelrama. I’m sure that’s a very respectable job however. If anyone works at place called Pretzelrama I’m real sorry for implying that your job is mediocre in any way. People love pretzels so your job is actually really important.

446 comments on “What’s in a Name? Um, Only EVERYTHING.

  1. This has to be one of the best posts ever. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Smaktakula says:

    This is awesome. I love unusual names. I taught for a while, and had some students with some incredible, iconic names. An example would be Sergeant Fullwiley (full disclosure: the name is a composite; I can’t out my kids like that!)

  3. You. Nail. Head…

    My name is pronounced like “Michelob” only with a long “e” sound instead of the “ob.” Now, while I don’t like beer, I do love all things Disney…and schoolkids always teased me by calling me “Mickey Mouse.”

    So there you have it. Kinda. In a roundabout way…

    And I’ve always HATED having an odd name, but now that I’m a full-time freelance writer shopping books to potential agents/publishers, I find that I’m always “That chick with the odd name.” Here’s hoping it helps!


    • yeldaba says:

      Having an ‘odd name’ helps you stick out more, I would certainly think it would be beneficial! People don’t remember Ann’s but they remember Ke$ha’s!

  4. Great post Congrats on being freshly pressed

  5. I read a awhile back that said a new name popping up is ” La – A” It’s pronounced “La Dash a” …..why ? Just …why?

  6. a2canadian says:

    My name is Brunhilda. Since birth I have been desperately resisting the urge to drink copious amounts of ale and mead, swing spiky balls at people (I maintain that pineapples don’t count and that he made me do it), and conquer the southern tribes (that is, America) and expand my dominion. Truth: names matter.

  7. Love this post! I’m currently in the process of choosing a name, and reading this was a welcome relief from the current serious-bonkers-ness surrounding names. I read something somewhere a while ago about “successful” and “unsuccessful” names, but you’ve just said it so much better!

  8. I do believe that names make who you are but hang on a minute here there are a few things I noticed. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on these points… (I’m also not american so I know none of these people)

    1) Skip Schumaker – The source you provide is Wikipedia which states his name as Jared Michael “Skip” Schumaker, giving the impression skip is his nickname, not the name his parents gave him.

    2) You are also using full names, parents don’t tend to choose the last name for a child unless the mother has decided on keeping her own name…then you only have a choice of two.

    3) Amanda is a perfectly lovely name, and if you go around believing life will be bland because of your name thats exactly what you’ll get. You get what you give out of life (not saying you’re bland but if you go round thinking you are it won’t help)

    Sorry I don’t mean all this in a nasty way, I’m just curious to know you’re response.

    • yeldaba says:

      1. True. It is a nickname. But he goes by Skip. I didn’t do the most thorough research beforehand. I still think it’s a great baseball name. Jared Schumaker would be just as great. The last name is what makes it in this case I guess.

      2. Also true.

      3. I don’t really find my life bland. I actually find my life quite enjoyable. Enjoyable enough to right ridiculous blog posts about it.

      No worries. Didn’t take it nasty. We all have opinions.

  9. leahleah says:

    This is awesome 🙂
    I’m totally going to share this.
    Way to get freshly pressed
    I never even read those things but this caught my eye.

    -peace and love-

  10. Omar says:

    hehe, I actually did think Cal Clutterbuck was the business man’s name since it has ‘buck’ in it. Sort of like if I heard the name Creflo Dollar, the first thing that comes to mind is a financial guru, not a televangelist. Well, maybe those two go hand in hand.

  11. Luna Kadampa says:

    I loved this post! And you hit on quite an important philosophical point as well — Buddha said that “all phenomena are mere name”. If we look with wisdom, we cannot actually find any object behind our labels.

  12. Great post. As someone who refuses to go by her legal name I find it especially interesting. I’m pretty sure both my legal name and my chosen name send me to mediocrity, but at least I don’t hate the one I chose.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    – Kali

  13. switch607 says:

    as soon as i thought skip schumaker was a scientist name i knew we were on different wavelenghs

  14. Rae says:

    Just be glad you weren’t named Trixie.

  15. L says:

    I was always confused at my attraction to Stefan Urquelle.

  16. Can I just let you know how happy I am to see Steve Urkel’s face again? It’s been years.

    Also, clearly, CLEARLY, just taking off his glasses and getting rid of his dance wouldn’t be enough to make him a womanizer…it’s all about Urquelle. Stefan Urquelle.

    Brilliant post! 🙂

    • yeldaba says:

      I love that Urkel guy!!

      I’ve seen lots of coming of age movies where the nerd girl just takes off her glasses and takes down her ponytail and then she’s a bombshell. It’s amazing how that works!

      • Roosevelt says:

        It’s kind of like Superman and Clark Kent? Haha.. When Clark Kent takes off his glasses, he’s Superman… But with a name like Superman, you have to be a really tough dude… Could you imagine the tagline “It’s a bird it’s a plane, it’s Clark Kent..” And instead of calling the movie Superman they called it “Clark Kent”

        I remember watching Family Matters when I was a kid and when I heard that name “Stefan” I was like wow… This dude is cool…

        For example, when I hear a name like Billy Bob or Billy Bob Thortan, I automatically think Hillbilly or redneck.. Funny post because I was thinking about the exact same thing the other day when I saw a kid name Egbert on TV. I was like, why would someone name their kid “Egbert”… I’m like, Egbert is a dumb name. It’s like the ultimate nerd geek name… He will be picked on for the rest of his school years…

        But, who knows.. He may go on to graduate MIT and become the CEO of a computer company or an engineer at NASA..

      • yeldaba says:

        Egbert will definitely be a genius. No doubt in my mind about that.

  17. This was hilarious and I honestly got caught a few times between the names!

  18. Ahah! You made me think of this old Italian commercial starring Sylvester Stallone. “The name makes the difference” says the ad. Don’t mind the Italian, the question she asks is just ‘what’s your name?’. 🙂

  19. N. Congo says:

    Celebs are getting out of hand with these horrible names. Moses is okay, right? But Apple?

  20. True stuff. Righteous sista!

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks…sista! (I’m probably not allowed to say that. It doesn’t seem right coming from my mouth…but I’m breaking through barriers today and said it anyway.)

  21. v says:

    Names do matter! It follows you and forms you and it becomes you. What I don’t get is how can a couple name their child Rumor? know what I mean?


  22. Wittyburg says:

    As a fellow Amanda, I completely understand. Even better, my parents gave me “Marie” for my middle name. Doesn’t get much more white bread than that. Ho-hum.

    On the other hand, I don’t think many parents understand the implications they set forth when they name their child something wacky or impossible to prounounce/spell. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard friends complain over their non-white bread monikers.

    Congrats on FP, and thanks for sharing!

  23. rmv says:

    best sports name ever? probably chuck foreman. running back for the minnesota vikings in the 70’s. two reasons: 1. break it down – “chuck” can’t argue with the roughness of the sound as well as the meaning “to throw something.” “fore” as in moving forward. “man” is obvious. reason 2: it’s fun if you say it too fast and transpose the initials.

  24. Ammon says:

    What’s in a name? Ask anybody named Jeeves. They’re doomed to a life serving others as a butler. And Yvette? She’ll be stuck in a French maid’s outfit long after Halloween is over.

  25. This was such a fun read! Congrats for being freshly pressed.

  26. TJ Johnston says:

    If you give your kid a mediocre or lame name, the next best thing is assigning a decent monogram.

  27. cute post! I totally agree that names are everything…I think you’ll enjoy this post I did last year on names, specifically naming one’s children http://wp.me/p1cZEZ-2w

  28. Hey wait! My name is Amanda, and my life is less than mediocre, no I’m not a superstar nor do I want to be, but I’ve got something on my side, my astrological sign. I’m a sag, people love me, I have a fire that burns and like moths to a flame they keep a comen lol.I agree a name says a lot about a person, and no parent should take their name lightly, but sometimes, just sometimes other things factor in and save the day!

    Great post! I love it have a wonderful day!

  29. Joy says:

    Well, I was named Joy, but my nature is very reserved and quiet, introspective. I’ve always said Mom should have named me Melancholia instead!

  30. Billy_Trip says:

    Brilliant analysis… Funny and insightful! You’ve earned yourself a new follower!

  31. donniechen says:

    F-ing great post! (excuse the french but it’s needed) Looking at my name, one would think I’m a giant rectangle, and true to your post, I am…. 😦

  32. I see you’ve been pressed freshly. Good job, I guess.

  33. blastedgoat says:

    Luckily, my real name, (Mandy) is a little weirder than Amanda (I’m also a little weirder than my best friend growing up who was named Amanda!) Add the familiar but not overused middle name of Michelle with a strange German sounding last name and I’m relatively happy… Then again, I go by blastedgoat online and that name usually raises some eyebrows! Great post 😀

  34. dearfriends says:

    It is interesting to note that tribal cultures spend a great deal of time and thought in naming their children–while we try to find a name that doesn’t have a “ugly” memory attached to it. I have always thought we should give our children initials and they can fill in the rest when we have decided what is best for them. (And no, I didn’t follow through with this in naming my own children, as the birth certificate folks at the hospital were very determined that a REAL name went on that little piece of paper–shouldn’t have caved so easily.) Thanks for this great post, Barb

  35. Ed says:

    You know, I have thought this to be true for a very long time.

    My given name is Edward, but throughout my childhood I went by Eddie. As I have gotten older, I am now somewhere between Eddie and Ed, but it is honestly quite an old-fashioned name, and I have always had the feeling that it helped determine my personality as a somewhat nerdy, arrogant INTJ type. Suffice it to say that I was never destined to be a “cool” kid or an athlete.

    In my mind, Eddie just sounds like a comedian name (Eddie Izzard, Eddie Murphy, etc.) or a trouble-making neighbor à la Eddie Hascal of Leave it to Beaver.

    Every Ed I’ve known personally has been past middle-age, but I was heartened to see the main actor in Eragon (a terrible film, by the way)– a young man around my age listed as Ed Speleers in the credits– bring a bit of sexiness to an otherwise outdated moniker.

    While most of my peers had “cool” names like Ben, Ryan, Trevor, or Andrew, I got stuffy, English, aristocratic “Edward” (long before that trashterpiece Twilight repopularised it).

    I’ve come to appreciate it for how it has contributed to my uniqueness among my own generation, despite a feeling of “otherness” and loneliness at times. And as a writer, I’m particularly sensitive to names (having to assign them to characters, which can be really fun and really stressful at once). Now, though, I actually like being a “guardian of wealth” as my name implies.

    Thanks for assuring me that I’m not crazy for overanalysing both my own name and those of others!

    • yeldaba says:

      It’s always good to know that there are other crazies in the world!

      and I’ve always found Eddie Haskel to be very entertaining, despite his rat like features and need to cause trouble.

  36. bicycle says:

    Freakonomics talks about this in sort of a less biased/colloquial way. I legitimately chose the wrong picture for each name. I guess it’s just a matter of cultural opinion (for example I think if you name your child Spike, he’ll grow up to be a platnium blonde vampire who looks a lot like James Marsters).

    • yeldaba says:

      I don’t even know if it could be considered cultural. It’s mostly just my random thoughts…and I would certainly not say that my thoughts are at all a good base for the rest of society! 🙂

  37. char says:

    I was named a name NOBODY seems able to pronounce…and so made up for it by giving my kids very plain mediocre names. Does your mom have an interesting hard to say name,by chance?

  38. Caroline says:

    My mom took the liberty of naming all my sisters after flowers: Rose, Lily, Magnolia, and the baby, Willow. I, however, am named Caroline. I’m totally jipped – banished to an existence of mediocrity. And cue somber violin solo and the pitter patter of rain fall.

  39. Maureen says:

    Scientific evidence or not, I think you definitely have a point. Well said. 🙂

  40. ivavasadze says:

    Really great and enjoyable post.

  41. My name is Aundria Patricia Smith which if you had to translate (as I do for some of my friends or when introducing myself for fun) means “Manly princess who works with her hands” which is precisely what I do. It’s all in the hands—and head sometimes.

    Great post.

  42. Bitsy says:

    Amanda’s a GREAT name. Try growing up with BITSY LOL Everyone knew who I was, which meant I couldn’t get away with much! I’m with you in saying “thanks mom!”

    Great post!

  43. I once worked with a girl called Cinnamon. (I kid you not.) Seemed appropriate since we both had summer jobs at a restaurant.

  44. Oregano says:

    Great post! Congrats of Freshly Pressed! I love palying around with names. I came up with a pseudonym for my wife’s “Good Humored” blog: Paprika Furstenburg (she has red hair). You can read about it here: http://goodhumored.wordpress.com/presenting-paprika-2/

    I also found a name for her friend – Saskatoon Jones. She’s not Canadian, but it’s fun to say. Guess where I was when I thought of that one?

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  45. amelie88 says:

    haha I love this post. Not so sure what my name, Amelie, can tell you about my future. My parents picked it because my dad is French and it’s a fairly common name in France. So I guess I’ll jump on the mediocrity bandwagon.

  46. Dawn says:

    I just finished reading an article elsewhere that claimed that people with easily pronounceable and readable names tend to be more career-successful, are accepted to better schools, and land more job interviews. So, there might be some benefits being named Amanda, instead of Ameandah.

    • yeldaba says:

      Good to know! It’s all good though, because I teach a 3 year old preschool class and if I had a weird name they couldn’t pronounce it anyway. They pretty much can’t pronounce Amanda either, I get lots of “manda” and “manna”.

  47. Betsy was my name growing up.
    I used to think of it as a term for a broken washing machine or a car with 200,000 miles on it.
    But now as Elizabeth, I am the Queen of everything.

  48. nerdshirtsandcardigans says:

    Very very true. My sister has a very odd name, where as I have a very old fashioned name. We joke because neither fits us, as I’m more odd then she is, and she is very straight laced and I’m not. I love this! Had to send to her, as we debate a lot about how a name influences perspectives on a person before anyone has a chance to know better. A name is the ultimate first impression. Amazing post.

  49. jamieahughes says:

    As a life-long Cardinals fan, I love the fact that you used Skippy Schu in this post! It is funny to think about names and how they sound. For instance, I always wanted to name a kid Atticus after the father in _To Kill a Mockingbird_, but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea now. 🙂 It does carry weight and color a child’s entire life. No pressure, right? Seriously. Another reason never to have offspring!

    • yeldaba says:

      Defintiely. No big deal, you’re just choosing your child’s whole future with a name!

      Also I have to confess, I’m a life-long Cardinals un-fan (you might even say I hate the Cardinals, but hate is a pretty strong word), but I do have to say Schumaker has the best baseball name ever. I can’t hate him at all.

  50. pixiepot says:

    Great post, I especially like your Pretzelrama disclaimer at the end.
    I agree, a name is very important and I’ve never really thought of how a name could affect ones personality or have an impact on who people think you are, but your dead on.
    Also, I’d appreciate if you, check out my blog too – opinionatedduck.wordpress.com

  51. fr3lancer says:

    nice post 🙂 n congrats on gettin freshly pressed!!!

  52. TheOthers1 says:

    But what does it mean to have a unique name? My mother named me Canea. The closest link to even defining that name I’ve come is knowing that it’s also a major seaport Crete. I think unique names can be hard to. I automatically ended up with a nickname because few people are even capable of pronouncing my name correctly. As a labor and delivery nurse, I believe parents should execute a lot of caution when naming their kids. Because unless you’re the former Ron Artest, now World Peace, you’re stuck with that crappy name forever.

  53. PrimalJoe says:

    Excellent! Thanks for the laugh.

  54. etomczyk says:

    This is cheating a bit because my last name is my married name, but I love to talk to people on the phone, build a work relationship with them, and then eventually meet them. I always get the “boing”! Love it. They think they’ve been talking to a mature Polish woman and up pops, Eleanor Tomczyk, the Patti LaBelle of the branding world.

    Congrats on being FP’D!

  55. ethelthedean says:

    Good grief this is a bloody hilarious post.

    Two years ago I worked very briefly with a lovely young fellow named Ebenezer. I don’t want to ever wager a guess at what kind of perverse, Dickensian fetishists his parents were.

    Although for all the time craziest, I once met a woman whose last name was Looney-Dick. So many questions, so little time…

  56. locutus08 says:

    You should check out the book “Freakonomics” if you aren’t familiar- they have a great chapter on names…congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks! I’m not sure how I managed to get freshly pressed. I’m concerned about whoever thought it was a good idea because I tend to only speak nonsense.

      I have not read that book. I’ve heard it’s enjoyable though!

  57. LadyBrekke says:

    Don’t forget most of those could be stage names. 🙂 But I like the post, nonetheless.

  58. kranARI says:

    I agree, Great post! My mother insisted they name me Ariadne and I’m still trying to figure out what my purpose in life is. Surely not helping a guy out of a Labyrinth only for him to ditch me…and then I kill myself…(ah those Greek myths are so dramatic!)


  59. Nikki P says:

    Haha, so funny! I’ve never really made that connection that names do affect your personality, but in a way it seems like they kind of do. Curious thing, psychology, isn’t it?

  60. Hi, Amanda! I’m new at WordPress and I started a blog myself! I’m a storyteller and an avid reader. You know? You are so right with the name topic. I always thought that a name says a lot of who you re. And, happily, I see Iwasn’t wrong about it. Be sure that you have a new reader! Also, read me at vivenciasdeunheraldox.wordpress,com, to check out my blog! I’ll be publishing some stories in English! See you around!

    • yeldaba says:

      Glad you enjoyed. And also very glad that I’m not the only one convinced names are a lot more powerful than we give them credit for.

      (I also did check out your blog. But I couldn’t read it. 🙂 Ha. I’m sure it’s great though!)

  61. Haha! My boyfriend’s boss is called Basil and I find it so, so hard to imagine him as a baby. Babies are not called Basil!

    Great post!

  62. Ruglovermary says:

    I have you beat on the bland name game. My name is Mary so ya Not all that exciting. Fortunately/ or not, my middle name is Jean and not Jane, but I got Mary Jane a lot. I am in good creative company though. I submitted a poem to an on line contest and had a hard time sticking out. There are apparently a LOT of Mary J who write in this world.
    I feel that you hit the name on the head, so to speak. The parents who name their children “different” names might not have thought how that will impact their child’s futures.
    I don’t have to worry about it since I don’t have children, but maybe soon to be parents might think twice before choosing an unique name. Here’s hoping that you saved some poor child from getting a bad name and future! 🙂

  63. Very clever post! I did a lot of thinking about names for my boys because of reasons exactly like you wrote in your post. 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  64. Animockery says:

    Lets do another experiment, my kids names are Raeden Maverick and Harrison William. If you encounter these names in the adult world what would you assume they do?

    • yeldaba says:

      Obviously Raeden Maverick is going to be a pilot. Such a great pilot name! Harrison William is a little more versatile, could be a movie star or a football player. Definitely not a nerd though.

  65. Clip Snark says:

    Great post! This reminded me of a cool book I saw once, The Baby Name Survey Book. It surveyed people’s opinions of what they think of when they hear certain names. My name is Nicole and people think I’m bossy. 🙂

    • yeldaba says:

      That sounds like just the kind of book I would love to read. I probably shouldn’t though because I would most definitely annoy people by telling them what their names mean.

  66. catzikay says:

    That Urkel bit had me cracking up!

    Actually, I heard that having mediocre names, such as “Amanda” or “Joe,” will give you a higher chance of getting promotions (mostly because it’s easier to remember the name), so looks like you have a great name!

    • yeldaba says:

      Well, I hope that’s true about getting promotions. Although I teach preschool. I’m not sure how much I can get promoted, maybe I can be promoted enough that I don’t have to wipe boogers anymore. That would be great.

  67. Dienna says:

    Congratulations on the Freshly Pressed post!

    I had to look up the first three because I don’t follow sports and had no clue who any of them were (ooh…shocker!), but I’m curious to know what the donut guy’s name is.

    But yeah, I remember Steve doing the transformation into Stefan. I think there was even an episode where they were able to make Stefan separate from Steve so Steve could go with Myra and Stefan with Laura (if only for that episode).

    Anyway, I agree with this post and do feel that some names do automatically put people in their status in life. Some parents aren’t using any type of foresight before naming their kids.

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks! I wish I knew who the crazy person who thought this was worthy of freshly pressed was!

      The Donut Man’s real name is Rob Evans. He’s a Christian children’s singer/entertainer guy with a donut puppet. (ya, it’s kinda weird)

  68. this is the best blog I think I have ever read on wordpress! I wish my blog could be this awesome!

  69. papermudandme says:

    Loved this blog.
    Lordy, Lordy, now I know where it all went wrong. What were my parents thinking when they named me Paul. I know what they were thinking. Fortunately I didn’t turn out the way they hoped.

  70. You should definitely read Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Some very interesting research on what a name can do to your child. You will find that your post is not quite as nonsensical as you may think.
    Congrats on FP!

  71. Reblogged this on The Life and Times of Nathan Badley… and commented:
    Normally, I would use this space for my own blog post. Today, though, that seems selfish.

    My little, baby sister was Freshly Pressed today. This is a big accomplishment and I don’t want to step all over her blog. So, in honor of her, I will use my daily post to repost her. Enjoy.

  72. ashleemae says:

    I saw a birth announcement for a kid named Bubbles. My first thought was “My God, that girl’s going to end up a stripper.”

    I don’t know what is wrong with some people.

  73. Haha, this was fabulous! My first name (Meredith) is kind of different and sounds like a person who’s, well, quiet and intelligent (yup that’s me) but my last name….totally Irish (ugh; I wish it was something less overt). So I settle for Meredith O’ as my name; now I sound “quiet and mysterious” lol 😛

  74. RG.Love86 says:

    Ha! This was a good read. Especially the part about Urquelle being a suave womanizer.

  75. gingerjudgesyou says:

    Haha, great post! I got shafted in the name department too. My name isn’t Ginger though, but I do have red hair (my real name is in my “about” section)! I totally get wanting to name your kid something different but something as off the wall as Apple is just ridiculous. They say that naming your kid something uncommon gives the kid a superiority complex because they think they’re more unique than others and therefore more special.

    • yeldaba says:

      If my name was something as spectacular as Blue Ivy I would probably have superiority complex, otherwise I’d be real bummed out that my name was so stupid.

      • gingerjudgesyou says:

        I think it’s safe to say that child is doomed to a life of exotic dancing, or, you know, a female wrestler.

  76. susielindau says:

    Amanda I LOVE your name in fact it is the heroine in the book I am writing. I am sure it will be a best seller so then it will become a movie making your name even more awesome!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  77. This is an awesome post! I really like it, it’s funny and really interesting I’ve never thought about that, nice!


  78. Claire Lopez says:

    Great job! I was named after my grandmother, Mabel Claire. So glad they rejected Mabel! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  79. A great post! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  80. Alexa Bailey says:

    Ha. You think your name is bad. Mine is Alexa Gray Bailey. (Am I supposed to release that kind of information to the internent? … probably not.)

  81. This post was great even though I didnt do so great on the name guessing. It all depends I suppose.

    • yeldaba says:

      Well thanks! I wouldn’t worry too much about not getting the names right. I tend to over-think things, such as people’s names. It’s possible i have a problem.

  82. I hate my given name, it’s just really… blah – luckily I can shorten it to Betty, which is as kitsch and camp as I care it to be! I am determined to give my kids a really cool spy name, or something that makes them sounds really stuffy and extra-english.

    Great blog post 🙂 xx

  83. I laughed so hard at this! I’m subscribing to your blog!

  84. Welllll i’m not going to lie, I was very bad at guessing who’s who (maybe a result of having an extremely uncommon name? You tell me). But it was still a fun read! And if it makes you feel any better, Amanda is always a pretty girl’s name!

    • yeldaba says:

      I wouldn’t lose sleep or anything about not being great at my made-up game. I would be shocked to find that someone’s brain works like mine. I tend to be an over thinker. Apparently this over thinking problem spills over to my analyzing people’s names.

  85. aj2hip245066 says:

    This is really true I really think that your name simbalizes who you really are on the inside instead on the outside

  86. annaweee says:

    I saw a few references to Frekonomics but no one went into detail about it, so I’ll expand a little. I actually haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but this exact topic came up in conversation the other day– the name a child is given dictates the way in which the child is raised. Not so much as the name makes up the person per se, but the name influences how the parent treats the child. In the examples you gave: name your child Steven Urkel and the parent may encourage the child’s interest in books, academia and the like, whereas the parent might encourage a “Skip” to be outgoing and foster his athletlic abilities over other skills/talents.


  87. Amanda is a Portuguese name for Amada means Lovable!

  88. I guessed wrong on every single one. Something is wrong with me, I’ll go to the doctor’s tomorrow.

    • yeldaba says:

      I would strongly suggest a visit to the doctor.

      (False. I would not actually suggest this for two reasons. #1 Explaining to a doctor that you need to see them because you didn’t recognize who Cal Clutterbuck or Skip Schumaker were could lead to some strange looks. #2 I would not base anything on the things I say. I don’t think my brain works like the rest of the world. So don’t actually go to the doctor. I’ll probably go though. I might have a problem)

  89. Word!! My name is Amee Bohrer, and I hated it until college. It wasn’t on any pencils, and is constantly butchered both phonetically and grammatically. Then I took an English class freshman year, and my prof had us each measure our name in metric feet. I discovered that my names contain NO unstressed syllables, and is comprised of two Spondees!! From then on, I loved it.

    I have a writer’s name, short, unique and perfect for bylines. Damn, my parents are good! Congrats on Freshly Pressed, great post!

  90. Just curious. My name is Megan. What kind of person do you think I am? I’ll let you know how accurate you are after you describe me. (btw, I agree with what you said so I’m interested to know what connotations you think my name has)

    • yeldaba says:

      Megan’s a toughie. I’ve know lots of Megan’s. I’ve related well to them also. (Actually that’s not true. I lived with a Megan my freshman year of college and she didn’t care for me much, but the other Megan’s were very delightful) I tend to float around with other normal average humans, so perhaps that’s it? A nice level-headed girl, that’s what a Megan is.

      • Yes, nice, and level-headed would probably describe me accurately. I’m a teacher. Very responsible–too much for my own good. Athletic. I like to read, write, hike, travel… I’ve never been much of a partier. Most people think I’m nice…too nice. I’ve had a few students say I actually need to be harder on them. I’ve known other Megans too and not all of them are like me, but I think you’re right in that all of us are fairly level-headed and most of us are nice. Good job!

  91. Anacaona says:

    Great post and so funny. I also preferred Steve Urkel to whathisface. Nerd lovers FTW!

  92. leego12 says:

    hey love your blog mine is called haileydg be sure to read it please

  93. Jackie says:

    I once knew a kid named Thor Stonewall. Or was it Thor Stone Wall? Whatever. I’m pretty sure he’s a viking now.

  94. I feel like the associations between the names and careers exist because of the familiarity with the people, not visa versa. I, for one, don’t follow sports at all and guessed almost all of the athlete ones wrong.

    That being said, I really like the idea here; and I don’t disagree that someone’s name suggests a lot about them. I had a teacher once named “Shawn Chen”, and was very surprised to discover she was a caucasian female (the last name was the result of her marriage, however). But I wouldn’t trust them enough to guess futures based on them.

    And congrats on being freshly pressed!

  95. whyyyjen says:

    Haha I was very entertained by this post. My real name is Charlene. I think it is too ordinary and mediocre too. It’s a bit more difficult to be someone great without something (like a cool name) to start with.

  96. Congrats on being FP! I love this post, as I love names. And I must add I have a serious crush on Clutterbuck. Yeah, it’s embarrassing.

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks! Glad you liked it!

      And no embarrassment needed for the Clutterbuck crush. I myself have a strange obsession with Sidney Crosby. (THAT, I should be embarrassed about)

  97. Jox says:

    Name picking for a child has possible consequences on his/her future. In fact, names can even be causes of stereotypes. I think you’ve hilariously written your observations. When I use my real name, it sounds bland next to my sort of unique nickname. Being in the marketing field, “Jox” just hast the right fit. Some people adjust their names to fit their identities but I dunno about the other way around. 🙂

    • yeldaba says:

      You’re probably more right than me. I have absolutely no statistics/scientific facts to back up anything I say. I mostly talk out of my hindquarters. It’s my cross to bear.

  98. Got a good laugh out of this article. If you legally get your name changed, does that mean your whole future could change?

  99. Linda says:

    I was given the name Linda. There are 500 quadzillion Lindas on this earth. When I grew up, I was going to change my name to Carmen. Very few people had that name.

    Well, I met a young lady whose name was Carmen. She complained because it was so unusual and wished for a common name, such as my own.

    Goes to show that what you get you are stuck with or you can change it legally when you are older. I did not.

  100. If I ever change my name, it will be to Snatch Baggins. Unfortunately, it would limit me to working as a man-whore, pimp or D-grade porn actor.

    Thank you for an amusing piece and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • yeldaba says:

      First off, I just laughed really hard at that comment (probably because of my immaturity) so thanks for that. Secondly if your goal in life is to be a man whore I could not think of a more perfect name. Go with that one.

  101. Aerykah says:

    Funny, but so true! One bad thing about having an unusual name, though, is that so many people can’t spell it!
    By the way, I love that you included Landry Jones. 🙂

    • yeldaba says:

      Love that Landry Jones!

      And that spelling thing is very true. Although my last name is Badley, which I wouldn’t think is that difficult, but it always gets spelled wrong, and not just because they forget the e, which would be a logical mistake. Maybe I just hang around with bad spellers…I should look into that.

  102. phoebeyip says:

    Reblogged this on bits and pieces and commented:
    I randomly ran into this blog post and it made me laugh. What she says about names is pretty true. My name got mispronounced and misspelled a lot growing up so I knew at a very young age I would never give my future children a name that could easily be made fun of, butchered, mispronounced, or misspelled. However, I have learned to accept my name and appreciate that its uniqueness.

  103. I loved this post. Reminded me of some Australian football and rugby players with unusual names. Cooper Kronk and Stirling Mortlock come to mind.

  104. imwithsilly says:

    Hehe….in that case i think i should call my kid something like optimus or Bumblebee!!!!!

  105. Rachel Jones says:

    This blog is very true. Employers may hire people with more respectable names completely unconsciously. If you get a Stacey Keira Payne and an Elizabeth Beatrice Hamilton-Jones applying for the same job, it doesn’t matter how qualified either of them are, the employer may unconsciously be more drawn to the more upper-class name on the CV. We all do it without realising, like when we learn of someone’s name before we meet them, we end up forming ideas of what that person might be like.

    I’m cursed with a name in a country that everybody else seems to have. Jones is a commonly used surname in Britain, and if I had a pound for every single Rachel I’ve ever met in my life I’d rich! I hate the ridiculously and stupidly unusual names that most celebrities give their children, but at the same time it can be hard once you reach a certain age, if you’ve a name that absolutely everyone else seems to have. It can make you feel like little more than one insignificant figure in a crowd of a million.

  106. This is a great and hilarious post! When my sisters and I are out we always guess what people’s names are. Some people just look and act like a certain name. So I totally agree with you.

  107. Seriously amazing post! I get about 20 pronunciations of my last name, all of which are wrong and my first name is always mispronounced until I tell them it’s exactly like the song. And then have them sing it to me. Eugh. Or they ignore me and continue to say it incorrectly.

    The one good thing about my name is that I’m the only one of me on facebook.

  108. This is a great post on an interesting subject. I always had a hard time in deciding which to use for a first name….John or Johnny? When I was in the car business for almost twenty years, Johnny seemed to work great for people remembering me. Johnny Rigo, kinda of like Ringo minus the “n,” except I don’t rob stage coaches was my favorite saying. Now that I am a super senior, my bride feels that John has more savy. Oh well, what is a name anyway…..a lot.

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks! You could still rob stagecoaches if you wanted. Then you could go by Johnny again. I don’t even think anyone would be mad about it because if it fits your name it’s totally cool!

  109. mthamm says:

    For the old people – remember Les Nessman
    WKRP ??

    In one episode a macho guy who was dating Jennifer (I think) said to Les, “I think a lot can be learned from a persons name. What’s your name?”

    (Sounds like Less – get it?)

  110. Two thoughts came to my mind when I read this:
    1.) Since birth by parents have called me by my initials “RB”, very unusual for a female and a name that suits me well. “Rebecca” sounds incredibly foreign. Sometimes they have to call my name a few times at the doctor’s office before I realize it’s me they’re talking about. My brother is even more unusual with “Farrell”. We are both trailblazers without much fear of being different. I think the names were a big part of that. I hope I did my daughter well with “Mia”.

    2.) When my boss was pregnant her neice gave her fantastic naming advice. “Just make sure that her name sounds good with the words ‘Supreme Court Justice’ in front of it.”

  111. Farheen says:

    I really enjoyed this. I wrote something similar for my blog as I have an unsual name and people are always messing it up and getting confused by it. Check it out if you have time 🙂 Keep up the good work!!!

    Farheen 🙂

  112. taraleshdude says:

    Funny piece of writing. I live in Italy. Most absurd case ever with given names in my opinion is that of those mean Italian parents who give kids names, which are very close in sound to their family name (ex.: Davide Davidotti – made up name)..

  113. I’ve been told my first and middle name is something a princess would be named…. But I didn’t grow up to be a princess with a fairy tale castle… But I do act like princess sometimes I suppose : D

  114. Funny post. Sometimes you can’t tell someone’s name by looking at them though.

  115. Paula D says:

    Reblogged this on ahhtist and commented:
    I loved this.

  116. Wow, I got every single one of them wrong! Clearly we have different opinions about names.

  117. admiralsol says:

    See! I knew I wasn’t crazy in thinking things are determined by the name people are giving. Actually, there is horoscope like thing called “Numerology” that uses a persons birth-name, to determine everything about a person (well it also uses the birthday).

    I used to do readings for people, and people would be so surprised at what I could find out.

    However, Sometimes Names tend to surprise people. there was a girl in my Highschool, whose family’s last name is “Butt”. She however, was not the butt of every joke. She was well liked, very smart, and pretty.

    Maybe some people can grow beyond their name.

  118. Laura Lamere says:

    I agree, what to name a child is probably a bigger decision than whether to conceive one in the first place! Bravo on Fresh Pressed! BTW: My middle name is “Eunice” – fortunately, I can use the letter “E” and no one needs to know!

  119. J.R. LeMar says:

    Love this post!

    Of course, one major exception to the rule would be BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, which definitely doesn’t sound like the name of a President Of The United States of America.

  120. humility says:

    step 1) read freakonomics
    step 2) realise you’re wrong
    step 3) maybe start reflection on the whole “i think so differently from everyone else on this planet” idea.

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks for your insight. Luckily for me, this post was written in humor. I don’t actually believe that I am correct.
      I appreciate your kindness in letting me know how wrong I am though. Where would I be without it?
      Have a great day.

    • step 1) Stop over-analyzing humor blogs. Perhaps you could reread Freakanomics instead.
      step 2) Learn how to use the shift key. It will make some of the letters you type capitalized. For instance, proper nouns such as Freakanomics. Maybe you could start your sentences with a capital letter.
      step 3) Maybe start reflection on the whole “I go on blogs to criticize but do not have the bravery to do so with a real name or link to a blog” idea. Then begin gently weeping.

  121. The Waiting says:

    I’m going to be having to pick a name for my first born in only seven weeks! Thanks for adding to the pressure 🙂

    I totally love this! When I got married and changed my last name, I was all of a sudden “Emily Austin”. Now not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me when I will publish my Victorian novel/collection of Transcendentalist poetry. I guess not a bad problem to have, but I always disappoint them when I simply point them in the direction of my fairly run-of-the-mill pregnancy blog.

  122. joanierobi says:

    So funny and so true! I always hated my name ‘Joanie’ – as you said about yours, it feels a little bland and frankly a little old. I always think I’ll finally fit in when I’m 70! Anyway congrats on being Freshly Pressed – really funny post 🙂

  123. I have a pretty bland name as well – Andre Johnson. It doesn’t imply anything specific which is probably why I’m so damn lost in life. This article was unique and funny. I liked it a lot. Keep writing, Amanda.

  124. dial143 says:

    it was very nice:)

  125. Knowit not all says:

    Seek and you will find.
    ‘Madonna’s religion’ have explenations for every name and names combinations, pro’s and con’s !!
    Google for that, and see what your name(s) have in ‘fate’ for you.

  126. sandraconner says:

    Hi, Amanda. Congratulations on being featured in “Freshly Pressed!” I enjoyed this article, and I agree 100%. As a minister and a Christian writer, I have done serious research into names chosen for people in the Bible — especially those chosen by God Himself. Of course, Scripture says that all words have power, and names are significantly powerful. When God chose a particular name for his servants, He expected it to create into them the character and nature inherent in the meaning of those names, and every time, it came to pass that way.

    Names really do have meanings, and they definitely affect the people who are called by them continually. In my own life, that has been proven true. My name means “defender of men,” and from my grade-school days, I have felt compelled to step up, defend, and fight for the little guy, the underdog, or the oppressed. My entire life has been significantly ordered in that direction, and it is not something I planned. I was almost an adult before I realized the true meaning of that name, but I immediately recognized that I had been living out that meaning from the beginning.

    I have also noticed that a number of my students (I teach as well) think, behave, and even aspire to things in agreement with the meanings of their names. I got the feeling that you believe what you said, but that perhaps you said some of it with just a little “tongue in cheek’ as well. But, truly, this message is an important one — not only for potential parents, but also for people who would like to better understand some of the peculiar people in their lives and why they act the way they do.

    Thanks for the post. Sandra

  127. nostawegnaro says:

    You make a good point and it’s true everyone judges people by their names (not always in a bad way) but I think it’s also because of the people you’ve met with that name. So people of a different generation or from a different country might expect different names to be clever names or Pretzelrama names.
    Although anyone named Cal is currently a ‘football player’ maybe in 20 years time a new generation of Cals will be teachers or scientists. Interesting to imagine?
    Great blog Amanda. (Your name makes me think of Amanda Holden, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Seyfried! So maybe you should pursue a career in acting or singing! Not so mediocre after all…)

    • yeldaba says:

      I’m sure it does have to do with my previous experiences/knowledge of people with certain names. I wish I could pursue singing, but people don’t tend to enjoy caterwauling much.

  128. thenondailyantics says:

    Thank your lucky marbles you weren’t named something like Wednesday or Gertrude…. not that there is anything wrong with the name…… but just the name says it all.

  129. the777man says:

    Names to mean a lot! For instance your name means “Worthy of Love or Lovable”. No Kidding here either. Now mine on the other hand Sally or Sallyjane as I go by first and middle ran together means Princess (Sally) Jane being John in the feminine. But John means Grace I believe.

    I grew up much to my Mom’s dismay a tomboy! To this day I do not like to wear dresses! I use to actually shiver when I heard my name because it sounded so bubbly and girly and even kid like. I have come to terms with my Princess name of the old south even though I was born in California and raised here. One thing about it once people get it, they don’t forget who I am. Well once I get them to not call me Just Sally! I really do sound like I am right out of the South though!

    Congrats on FP!

  130. Almulhida says:

    Timely post, as I’m trying to decide what to change my name to. I will have to choose carefully.

  131. There quite a bit of truth in this! My name’s Francesca though, and though I’m not posh they use my full name at work (I work at a Solicitors office) because it sounds like I might be!

    Frankie suits me much better though, I spend most weekends in a unit mucking about with Land Rovers and posting photo’s of what i’m eating/ getting drunk on….. So not ‘Francesca’.

  132. Reblogged this on onemilerunner and commented:
    This is so true and we all know it!

  133. Ryan says:

    Finding your identity is finding your comfort zone

  134. True. Some people cannot escape their names. I´ve heard of an academic, a linguist, called Bambi!

  135. Haha, terrific! Steven or Stefan part was brilliant!

  136. My grandfather’s name was Albert. Al. He sold insurance. And hated his name. When my mom was pregnant with my sister, there was all this gnashing of teeth over a possible boy name (this was before you could find out what flavor kid you were having). A friend of the family suggested that my parents use two very distinguished-sounding family names. “That way,” he said, “he’ll have a great name for a desk plate. And if he becomes a garbage man, you can just call him RC.” But it was a girl. They gave her a name far more common for African-American men than for white women. Every cake that’s ever had her name on it, it’s been written in blue gel. So there’s that.

  137. Taku says:

    Reblogged this on Project SOFD and commented:
    Finally, something worth being Freshly Pressed!

  138. inkessence says:

    My dad remarked today that my name, Maggie Bay, sounds like one word… MaggieBay. He says the two names go together well. However, what in the world does this mean for me as a person? I googled my name one time and came up with a resort named Maggie Bay. So now I’m a beach vacation resort? Grrrrreat…..

  139. deardeere says:

    So funny and true!
    Got me re-thinking the names I’ve picked out for my future children!

  140. Cute post!

    This is totally a chicken/egg argument, with no clear answer.

    But I’m a full believer in making life what you want it to be 🙂

    Perhaps those with strange names get a leg up in being weird or famous or standing out…but they are equally as capable of being boring or stupid or whatever. After all, their parents named them — they didn’t name themselves. So they can either choose to grow into society’s constructed associations with that name…or not.

    I will say though, your name is not your IDENTITY in my mind, but rather your IDENTIFICATION (and there IS a difference). Unless, of course, you choose to make your name your identity/personality etc (e.g. Gaga).

    Just some thoughts!! *follow*


  141. madamfickle says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I have had many a discussion on this subject. I can’t tell if parents are trying to be creul, funny or are just plain stupid when they name their children. We took great care in picking out names for our boys. We didn’t want them to be automatically labeled. Mort, Eugene, Francis, Dick were right out. Mike, Matt, Chris and Joe were too plain.

    My baby name book had lists of Boy names for lawyers, actors, serial killers, etc….

  142. Rufina says:

    From someone who has had to spell her name (even though it is quite simple) for everyone for 42 years and counting, I LOVED this post…

  143. I loved having my name growing up from daycare until I finished high school there was never another person with my name. Joyce I always wanted my kids to have uncommon names. I was going to name my daughter karma my husband said no. So I have a Cheyenne most common name ever for her age then my sons are Elisha and Noah.

  144. alice pngen ..... says:

    Reblogged this on http://www.blogjelex.tk.

  145. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on outta timin' mike and commented:
    Wonder what my name holds for me.

  146. Nice post, your blog is cool. Ill be checking in on your blog from time to timne. Cheers from San Diego!

    Check me out when your bored 🙂

  147. Jessica says:

    Someone may have already posted this, and you may already know it, but I’m pretty sure in Latin “amanda” means must be loved. I think that’s a pretty cool name.

  148. Addie says:

    I was named after my late mom, Adelia. I cringe whenever people call me that as I instantly think of death. Or ghosts. Now I’m called Addie. I wonder what that makes me.

    I love this post, Amanda. Pretty name.

  149. thinkingkate says:

    we named our sons William (the conquerer) and Alexander (the great). I wanted Ben but my husband said, no, that’s too weak. hahaha you post is so true.

  150. Alpha Juliet says:

    I love this topic. I completely agree with you! My dad wanted to name my sister “Betsy Sue” when she was born. And yes, he did grow up on a cattle farm in Nebraska in the 1950s. Luckily for her, my mom fought hard for a compromise, and she was named Susan Elizabeth. Much better!!! Though she still feel like “Susan” is a name from an older generation. I, on the other hand got super lucky and got a name which I always felt jibed with my personality. Great post!! 🙂

  151. I failed your name tests because I’m not into sports. DANGIT!

  152. …And yet you look nothing like a Yeldaba

    • yeldaba says:

      I’ve worked long and hard to break the stereotype that is placed on Yeldaba’s everywhere thank you very much! (or it’s my first initial + my last name backwards, but I like the first explanation better)

  153. Serene says:

    In some cultures, children are not named until they are 3 or 4 years old. These people believe that it is important for the child to grow up before he/she is given a name, and the name may be given in reflection to how the child behaves. One of my friends in high school said that she didn’t have a name until she was 5 years old! Haha, I just thought it would be interesting to share. =)

  154. harlenehercules says:

    Reblogged this on Dance Safari and commented:
    I know this has NOTHING to do with dance or arts…oh hang it might. But it is deals with something close to my heart. Names. My name is pretty unusual but I also think it’s frigging fabulous. Would you believe it is only now that at the tender age of 41 that I wish to delve into acting, presenting and generally being a personality. So armed with a killer name like Harlene (pronounced Har-lane) Hercules, I am sure good things are going to come my way.

  155. harlenehercules says:

    My name is Harlene Hercules. I rest my case.

  156. Tish says:

    I agree names can make you or break you, so parents should choose wisely. But we also shouldn’t judge people by their names because 95% of the time they didn’t choose them themselves…(unless you are Chad Ochocinco, and Metta World Peace). So when people make it a point to point out President Obama’s middle name is Hussein, well he didn’t choose it so what exactly are they trying to imply. Obviously Barack Hussein Obama is PRESIDENT material..take that John McCain (so bland…).

  157. dtw42 says:

    You said “I’m sure there is a scientific explanation for why this works.” If you weren’t aware of the phrase, you might enjoy googling “nominative determinism”. :^)

  158. Anna Bradley says:

    Favorite part; the Pretzelrama plug. I hope Pretzelrama is a real place. I could Google it, but I’m too lazy.

  159. mike r says:

    Steve Urkel.. I miss him..

  160. Great post Congrats on being freshly pressed

  161. Damn “urkel” look like he been partying too much or was family matters actually that long ago? Hmmm, Been hearing alot about that winslow dude lately and im sure you have to if you know what I’m talking about, if not then it’s cool it’s cool my babies -,o


  162. Haha, this is pretty funny 😀 Well done getting Freshly Pressed!

    Also, I have the most unique name ever and am always having to spell it to people over the phone, which is really annoying… The grass is always greener!

  163. あまや says:

    Reblogged this on Espressivo and commented:
    I cannot agree more. I believe as much that names are like your soul! (laughs)
    I got stuck with a name that rhymed with numbers and tried running away from it but nevertheless failed as a child until when I am older. My name doesn’t even make sense (the name you see here is a handle name, a pseudonym, whatever because it isn’t part of my real name.). But nevertheless, hopefully there is only one of me. (Did a search, it wasn’t the case.) But hey, there’s only one me with this handle name and real name together, so it does matter. Even only to yourself. So, wear it with pride.

  164. jayeshomg says:

    Reblogged this on Line Press'er and commented:
    Oh Awesome 🙂

  165. Susanne Alleyn says:

    Great post. I have a book written in the 70’s called “The Name Game” about exactly this: connotations of names and how people often grow into what’s expected of them. Elmers (poor things) do not become sports stars, nor does James Coventry Wellington III (because he’s obviously destined to become president of a bank or of Harvard). Fascinating book for further reading.

  166. rp71 says:

    Excellent Post. Name is the first step in building perceptions (good or bad)…

  167. Sarah D. says:

    Actually, I thought any one of them could have had any one of those names. Sorry! But your post is fun.

    • yeldaba says:

      Ya. I realize it’s all relative and based on my individual opinion. Most people provably aren’t going to agree with me. I also didn’t plan in it being freshly pressed either otherwise I might have put more time/thought into choosing different varieties of names. But what are ya gonna do. 🙂

  168. Mandy says:

    Speaking of names…my name is Amanda also but I have always gone by Mandy. Now that I’m older and have a professional job (I don’t work at the Pretzelrama, either) I hate that all of my legal documents has ‘Amanda’ on it because now my desk name tag says Amanda, my email is Amanda and all the people don’t know whether to call me Amanda or Mandy! I hate having to say to people “Oh, please call me Mandy”. So, I have vowed I will not name my child anything where their name can have a nickname that confuses people on what they should call them.
    Do you have this problem, too??

  169. Liana Giorgi says:

    If you don’t like your name, why don’t you simply change it?

  170. angelique523 says:

    I think this is one of the best posts I have read and no joke but I think about the name thing often. Not only have I looked up the meanings of my first middle and last names but I also looked up when my first name was popular. My first name was popular in the 50’s and 60’s. So I think not only did that determine that I was going live a mediocre life but also that I was not going to be able to relate to people my own age and that I was going to like the music that my mother listened to. Although I have also noticed that my personality seems to fit the actual meanings of my names. So if you haven’t, maybe you should look up where your name comes from and see how you compare or relate to it.

  171. vandysnape says:

    This post reminds me of a news article about a guy who named his son “Facebook”.. Poor kid..I mean it is really hard to figure out if it’s a boy or a girl.. I very much agree with your point about parents naming their children carefully.. Great post ! 🙂

  172. Kumar says:

    Agreed. Great blog post. I have the weirdest first name, my middle name is Kumar and have always gone by it. But since the movie Harold & Kumar has come out, that is the first thing anybody mentions when I introduce myself. I graduated with a Finance Degree, How am I supposed to become a successful business man? When my name makes it seem like I am a pot-head indian that loves fast food burgers!

  173. Sue Ghosh says:

    Insightful and oh so funny!

  174. fireygoddess says:

    Reblogged this on Make Something Every Day and commented:
    Citrus drink on a grey day. Great blog post!

  175. I recently got into a debate over this. A woman named her child Rage. She put it on a facebook debate page, so obviously she wanted to debate it, right? Nope. The fact that I wouldn’t name my child rage because it makes me think “intense anger”..made me a judgmental, shallow person. Of course, she also said that she would never question the mental stability of a parent regardless of what they named their child.. even if the name was Dumba*s F*ckhead. I think she’s a liar.

  176. missdaze says:

    Really amusing post! Love it 🙂

    What do you reckon to the name ‘Francesca’ ?!

  177. Luke says:

    When people were upset that Colt McCoy wasn’t taken out of the game against the Steelers I thought it was ridiculous. When you are given the name Colt, you get everything that comes with the territory. That includes playing through concussions, broken legs, decapitation, etc. Ethan Anderson would have come out of the game, but not Colt McCoy.

  178. Kimberley says:

    Fun post! I name my children John and Heather. We were on our way to school when a 4th grade John chimed in from the backseat, “Wait! You named her after a flower and me after a toilet?!” Ha. Not on purpose but it still makes me smile!

  179. troismommy says:

    Fun post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I’m a Genevieve, but was called “Jenny” as a child, which in the 70s means I was one of 10 Jennys at any given time. I got to be “Jenny T.” What made matters worse was that I was actually “Mary Genevieve” but my parents never intended for me to be called “Mary” – I think it was a Catholic thing and a family name.

    Once I became an adult and people started trying to call me Jennifer, I decided to just go by Genevieve and that made my life much easier. I like being Genevieve – it’s unique and pretty and I’m not one of 10. It does make things more difficult when it comes to other people spelling and pronouncing my name, but I’ll take it.


  180. Julie says:

    Oh wow, this post made me laugh so hard! Yes definitely a name means everything. If I were to name my kid, I were to name my kid I know I won’t name my kid Kim because it gives a connotation to whores and dictators. I think my name is a blond name–every Julie I met is blonde and every Julia I met is brunette. Since I’m brunette people always call me Julia even though I’m really Julie.

  181. petrakidd says:

    What a clever blog post, great fun and so true. I was given one name but I chose my second 😉

  182. redcactus says:

    Well, the Romans said “nomen omen” which needs no explanation, I guess…
    Great post!

  183. Yeah… What do you think of “Nina”? That’s my name, and, although I don’t particularly like it, it suits me well. It’s uncommon, but not unusual.

  184. Also depends on where you live, Amanda can be a normal name is the US, in Holland it’s kind of a ‘low-society’ name. 😛

  185. thewizdyme says:

    Great post! …proven fact scientifically and metaphysically. Acrophonology is the study/analysis of names and its accompanying astrological meaning. Names carry a certain vibration. So, name changes can help you if you think your name isn’t doing you justice. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  186. catnipkiss says:

    I have really been tryin to think of a Yoga Grandma type name…. “Grandma ” just won’t do for me. I have told my daughters DON’T EVEN THINK about it until I have a good name picked out 🙂 I’m in no hurry….!!

  187. i think the name/profession thing is like the chicken and the egg. did skip first become a famous bball player, thus making skips and names like it associated with athletics? what if hubert, aka hubie became a famous bball player first? so much philosophizing to do now…
    great post!

  188. Amanda,
    Now really. On a scale from 1 to 10, Amanda is up there. It’s a little exotic, got that triple syllable thing, and sounds sort of secret agent-ish.
    But you are forgetting the best part–your last name: Badley. That is top notch, at least a 9, maybe 9.5. Anything with Bad in it is, uh, good.
    Combine that with Amanda–as in Amanda Badley–and send in your application to the CIA. You’ll be there superstar agent in no time.
    Except, oh crap, I get they don’t let you use your real name.
    Sam (now that’s a downer of a name)

  189. Barbara @ Just Another Manic Mommy says:

    i love this post and it has me thinking about the current trend in kids names which I’m hating…(but don’t get me started!). also I LOVE your blog name. congrats on being freshly pressed!

  190. I think you’ll agree with me that I was blessed to be born a female. Had I been a boy, my parents were going to name me Harry Johnson… Oh, thank Goodness for the lifetime of humiliation that was avoided that day.

  191. csovs says:

    This was quite entertaining! 😛 Thanks for providing some giggles!

    I also would like to mention how I believe names play an important role in a person’s life! I love to look up the meanings to names of the people in my life and see how the meaning and origin of the name correlates to that person’s unique identity and personality! It shapes them into who they are and are becoming!

  192. olanzagalindo says:

    I strongly recommend the chapter on Names in “Freaknonics.” If you can’t get it or don’t have time…this is a good read about it: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2005/04/a_roshanda_by_any_other_name.html

  193. csovs says:

    I also would like to applaud you in your reference to “The Donut Man” I have not heard that in years! It added to the entertainment value of this read!

  194. TERRIfic Words says:

    This is great. Got any insight as to what it means when a female is named after her dad. (i.e. me). My name is Terri. My dad’s name is Terry.

  195. Great post! I grew up not liking mine and wanted Amanda…my half sister got that name: Amanda Mist.
    I didn’t like mine until I grew up and found out that Karen meant “pure”. It’s taken me many years to believe in who I am and love it.

  196. Momma Pace says:

    This is hilarious and so true. I also was given the very….. whatever name of Stephanie. The interesting thing is that my entire life, when people cannot remember my name they have tried for Jennifer, Jen, whatever. Equally, and perhaps even more so blah (sorry to all my Jennifer o’ Jenni’s).
    Was just thinking today that I would love to conduct some kind of study on the naming of kids because I actually think that names are “out there” tangibly that people can latch on to at any given time. I tried to name my two children something original, but not too far out there. Both chosen names I had never heard in this generation prior to my naming. Since, I hear of kids all over the country popping up with the same names. Very interesting. Luckily, I was brilliantly blessed with two amazing names and I am sure that both my sons are destined for greatness…. I still cannot get a clear read on the Iceland i just met. Beautiful name, just can’t commit to loving it?

  197. aashai1 says:

    Reblogged this on aashai1 and commented:
    Always make it your business to learn a person’s name, especially if you’re around them all the time.

  198. The funny thing is that I’ve had several different last name. I’ve had no connection to my father and because of that I didn’t take his name.
    You also didn’t mention about people that change their names like Marilyn Monroe, Madona, and numerous actors. Or maybe it’s that they create their own destiny?

  199. Yio'-ta says:

    I so agree with this. My birthday name is Panayiota… yeah, it’s greek and no one could pronounce it. So, my parents gave me the nickname Penny when I started Kindergarten. You can only imagine that I got tormented with either name I used! lol But there was a benefit…. Panayiota is very unique and Penny was not common where I grew up so I definitely stood out 🙂 When i graduated high school I got rid of “Penny” and stuck with Panayiota and I definitely felt different. When I’m around people who know me as Penny I act differently than when I’m around those who know me as Panayiota.

  200. Um… I picked the wrong picture on all of them. What does that mean?

  201. Great post, though I must admit, I only knew the answer to the last one. 🙂

  202. Prathik Rajendran M says:

    There is no proof between name and personality. Now go back to your kitchen.

    • yeldaba says:

      Thanks so much for your brilliant insight!! I was unaware that there wasn’t any actual connection between those two.

      I guess it’s a good thing that I posted this in the ‘humor’ category instead of ‘solid scientific evidence category’. Dodged a bullet on that one!!

      You seem like a lovely person however. Have a great evening.

  203. oh, a long list of comments 🙂
    Roberto might be an artist.. *grin* as well

  204. A British newspaper once did a feature on names teachers dread and names they look forward to meeting. It seemed Katherine (by that particular spelling) and Duncan were the most favourable.

  205. lovinmycrazylife says:

    We love unusual names in our family. We may have gone a little too far with the last one though. Leonidas Alverian Bam Pokorny….what do you think of that one?

  206. Kate Madison says:

    Got the first and last one, but sadly missed the rest. Isn’t there something about a rose by any other name would still smell just as sweet? And ya know, for a mediocre chick, you’re pretty interesting (that’s supposed to be humor, by the way). 🙂

  207. 4classicalguitar says:

    I am not plugged in to pop culture, so many of the names that you think are obvious really are not obvious to me. Also, Amanda means “she who is to be loved” which I don’t think is that boring of a name.

    • yeldaba says:

      Ya…I didn’t really plan for this to get freshly pressed. I wrote it mostly for my own personal enjoyment and didn’t realize 9 trillion people would be reading it. So pretty much the people I chose are a result of me having too much free time on my hands. I would not expect them to be obvious to anyone but myself. 🙂

  208. Amanda, your sense of humor quite resembles mine. You might enjoy reading my last post on http://crustiquebreads.wordpress.com. My name is Sibyl and though my mother and I never had the best of relationships, I am truly greatful for her giving me that name because it is fairly unique (as I am) and it has served me well. (And my multiple personalities are limited to 2, o.k. sometimes 3)

  209. Urban Daddy says:

    I’m sorry if this was mentioned before, but I couldn’t read through all 388 comments, but there is a book called “Freakonomics” in which the authors performed studies which found that certain names were more successful than other names and if you wanted your kid to succeed in life, you should think hard before naming them.

    Otherwise, very good blog post!

    • yeldaba says:

      I have heard about this in several of the 300 other comments. 🙂 I’m really getting the sense that I should read this book at some point. It certainly sounds interesting.

  210. Julie says:

    Reblogged this on Roads are made by Traveling and commented:
    This is probably one of the funniest post I’ve read in a long time! I agree, your name does mean everything. If were to have a kid–don’t have a name yet but I know for sure I wouldn’t name it Kim because I don’t want people to think of whores and dictators.

    I guess my name is pretty neutral… Actually wait! Julie is a blonde name or actually…most Julie’s are blondes and Julia’s are brunettes. As a brunette, people sure like to call me “Julia” rather than Julie.

    What would you NOT name your kid and why?

  211. thepantsrule says:

    I had wanted to give my son a middle name of either “Danger” or “Excitement” because how awesome would it be to say “Excitement’s my middle name” and not be kidding?

    Definite future winner there. Amazing how much veto power the extended family has though…

  212. msharyf says:

    My parents named me after the previous president of our country who ruled for 30 years! People hate him now. The citizens have lots of fancy nicknames for him which unfortunately get thrown at me occasionally since we share the same name

    Thanks mom and dad 🙂

  213. isme2012 says:

    Wow, first post I’ve read of yours and really, you’re selling yourself short by believing your name is what determines who you are and what you’ll do in life.

    Here’s a list of famous Amanda’s

    Amanda Jones – Inventor

    If one of the following is you, sorry, but it proves my point;

    Amanda Evans
    Student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Amanda Leland
    Vice President, Oceans

    Amanda Staudt
    Climate Scientist

    Amanda Hendrix
    Cassini Deputy Project Scientist

    Dr Amanda Barnard: investigating materials at the nanoscale

    Amanda DiGuilio
    Skilled chemical biology researcher

    I mean really, it depends on what you personally consider “a little bland” because the rest of the world doesn’t seem to see it that way.

    There’s another way to look at a “neutral name”. If it is indeed neutral then NOTHING was predetermined for you, you could become … anything you want.

  214. A really good post, the pcitures really made me laugh! Though jokes aside, there can be actual discrimintation of people when it comes to the names they have. It’s kinda scary how to some degree your future prospects in life can actually be based on your name.

  215. Cherie says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for this…

  216. sallystoma says:

    Very witty post! I agree to some extent. Maybe it is because parents who wish their kids To be in one profession, name them something that suits AND then mould them to be in that job. In Britain we have extremely eccentric singers who have very plain names, yet they are anything but mediocre! Lady gaga for example! Or Jessie J, real name Jessica Cornish. Point still stands…interesting post! – R.

  217. thatfantasyreader says:

    Hmm, interesting. This really got me to thinking. Thanks! (:

  218. Lotto says:

    It is a brilliant article anyway but I do agree with what isme2012 has said in the comment.

  219. booksfan13 says:

    what does
    “falah shazib”
    sound like

  220. shieldsink says:

    Love this! I have an old lady name (Virginia) and I certainly live up to it. I definitely take a person’s name into account when we first meet. I get wary of Kates and Justins, but trust Sams and Rebeccas. Go figure.

  221. Kymbirleigh says:

    LoL! Perhaps this explains why I take my boring old common name of Kimberly and twist the spelling all around to form Kymbirleigh. 🙂

  222. I got such a kick out of your post. This is the first time I have visited your blog and I think you have a great sense of humor. Keep up the good work!

  223. dembede says:

    names do really matter i have a pal who named his daughter “maureen “trouble” and believe me now the parent is getting hell frm the so called “trouble”

  224. It’s all in the pronunciation, the embouchure, the inspiration and expiration.
    When somebody loves you and calls your name, you will wonder why you never heard it that way before. Your name can sound like delicate wind chimes on a breezy evening or the confident town bells at noon knowing that everyone will obey the lunch pronouncement.
    The art of naming is an inspired one. A name can bestow protective qualities, by gathering up those things that are perceived to be dangerously lacking in an infant. They have a use other than labeling. A name can be a gift of aura.
    I like that we have written about the same topic!
    Our posts have the same name 🙂
    I’m still waiting for a Mongolian name.

  225. Roni Nitcher says:

    This article made me smile!
    I have a “bland” given name, Rhonda. But I have always gone by Roni (pronounced ronnie). I have two sisters, Michelle and Teresa.
    Michelle has always gone by Shelly, Teresa has never used a nickname.
    Now guess, which of us are seen by friends as “tough” and have always been tomboys?

  226. Love this post! 🙂 Well played with the Urquelle thing, well played. 🙂

  227. Zorbear says:

    I know what you mean: I once knew a kid named Harold Richard Head, and, not surprisingly, he was in therapy.

    Whereas my parents named me James Bond Bear, so I know I’m gonna be a secret agent when I grow up!

  228. titisule says:

    Love this post. In my culture, parents choose the name because of the meaning which makes a lot of sense.

  229. lizdail says:

    I just love the fact that you know who the Donut Man is! Great post 🙂

  230. Linda says:

    Good post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your post reminds me about a scene in LA Story. Steve Martin is relieved to finally meet someone from LA with a normal name, Sandy. She’s played by Sarah Jessica Parker. But her name isn’t spelled “Sandy,” as SJP points out. It’s SanDeE (big S, small a, small n, big D, small e, big E) and she says it just like that and adds that there’s a star at the end. So funny, but it points out very simply that you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover, nor a person by her name. That said, I chose my boys’ names very carefully, with the intention that they would look good when signing multi-million baseball contracts.

  231. Names DO matter! I’ve actually been thinking of changing the name of my blog: Purple Pond. Really, what images come to mind when you hear this? (Posted on this today, in fact)

  232. raajtram says:

    Haha 😀 That’s what I call something inspirational !! Cheers

  233. Kate says:

    Sooooo funny. And if it’s any consolation, I’ve never actually met an Amanda in real life. So that’s something, right?

    Congratulations on all the recognition! This is hilarious and well-deserving of lots of eyes reading it.

  234. Loved the post! I’m Christopher Dennis Fawcett – as boring as it gets. Even worse: I’m Panamanian. In Panama, a Spanish-speaking country, NO ONE pronounces it the right way. So I’ve just shortened it to Chris Fawcett. And in twitter, ChrisFaw. Now people at least kinda remember. Still mispronounce that, but remember.

    And kudos on being freshlypressed!! AWESOME!

  235. Reblogged this on divine disorder and commented:
    case in point: here’s how positive manifestation – or, early obsessing – can clearly make a difference. God forbid I give birth to a Steve Urkel vs. Stephen Urquelle.

  236. This is great! I love your thoughts!

  237. This is so true and fun for me! I study energy vibrations as a hobby and as a living. The ‘science’ behind names is in the mathematics of them. Every word vibrates and each vibration can be calculated.
    I guess Amber Michele must have been an inventor/explorer/pioneer name, because that is what I have been doing most of my life.
    My grandfather told my Mom that my name and a bad cold would kill me before I could walk. But that was 1966 and who ever heard of naming your daughter Amber? It was VERY cutting edge then. And, see I am cutting edge now….follows through! Great post and Amanda is a very ancient name that invokes peace and joy, loyalty and stamina. You should be proud of it. And really, you are not always doing “badley” so you are over-riding your last name energy!
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!!! AmberLena

  238. Unna says:

    Novel author was actually what came to mind when I read the name Amanda Badley. Crime novels, perhaps fantasy, I would say.

    Truth be told, my name is the one thing (alright, maybe one of two things) I hold against my mother; somehow people often have a hard time pronouncing it in spite of its simplicity. But it’s not a usual name where I come from, so alas.

  239. filiadei says:

    Great post! I’m stuck with a very rare name: Gudula. Although it is most probably an original german name (according to most of the name dictionaries I’ve read so far), few people actually know it today. I don’t even think it was ever popular (unlike some old-fashioned-but-once-popular-names like Albert, which are at least known to people). It sure has formed my character having to spell my name over and over and over again, having to explain to people that yes, it is an actual name and no my parents did not hate me.

    By the way: The name “Amanda” exists in German, too (slightly differently pronounced), but it’s quiet rare (not as rare as Gudula though). I think I know it mostly from books. My first association is that of a sexy woman with a touch of mystery. It reminds me of legends with magic and witches. It’s a name women would give themselves when offering fortunetelling. At least here in Germany and in my personal opinion. (A quick google search of Amanda+fortunetelling (in German) has 1.180.000 results and tells me that I’m not completely wrong about this.)

    So: You aren’t mediocre, your just living in the wrong culture :).

  240. Hey, at least you weren’t born in the early 90’s and got stuck with the oh so popular Brittany. It is so fun being in a class with five other Brittany’s. NOT.

    I, for one, love old family names. I’m into genealogy so I come across so weird names. The weirder, the better in my opinion. 🙂

  241. sangaaa says:

    Very good post. Brings out the significance of name and the first impression it gives.

    I have always been interested in names, their meanings and here is something very brief I wrote about it with a similar title. My blog being all about food, I spoke about a fruit’s name. Have a look:

    What’s in a Name

  242. lordbad says:

    I really enjoyed your post. If you want, you can return the visit;;)



    Clams & Cods

  243. notatamelife says:

    Haha, I love that you included the Donut Man in this. I consequently had a dream that involved the Donut Man. Anyway, I enjoyed this post. 🙂

  244. My first name is ‘Faun’ and the first conversation I have with anyone I’m meeting for the first time has to do with how bizarre it is, and how they’ve never heard it before, and where it comes from. Naming should be carefully considered (I’m rather thankful for mine), good post.

  245. Its funny I’ve actually thought about the whole name thing a lot. My mom named my older brother Franco she says because she always wanted him to be quite frank, and truthful. She named me Gabriela, after her favorite writer Gabriela Mistral, and my little brother Jacques after Jacques Cousteau. Weird thing is that my older brother really can’t lie to save his life, I’m the most creative of the three considering a career in writing, and my younger brother is a surfer, on the swim team and wants to be a marine biologist… I had totally forgotten about why my mom named us the way she did, but not too long ago we were talking about it and actually put the dots together, realizing the irony that who we are as adults today highly resembles the names she chose for us…

  246. hey, Amanda you got it right. I knew it happens, a few people on earth can never outsmart their own names leaving the hell of the world aside. well let me check your sense at knowing the feeler of the names, let me give you a name and you tell how the person should be, its not an English name, indeed its my own, without a look at the my blogs, tell me about the feeler of my name

    name is


    You try?

  247. […] Cootersneeze I really like the page because I like saying its name, so I am devoting a post. What’s in a Name? Um, Only EVERYTHING. “Every single person’s identity begins with their name (which makes sense as it is in fact, you […]

  248. domdit says:

    Steve Urkel : His parents did not choose “Urkel.” That must have been there last name. I guess steve is a nerdy name too.

  249. Pink Ninjabi says:

    It’s funny that you say that because I actually changed my name (yes due to religious conversion, not that I had to but you know, came with adopting a new way of life and everything), and it’s funny how even the sense of who I was altered with it. I always wanted a name that started with a ‘S’ as all my best friends growing up had that in their name (which remains true to this day), and it helped me to escape the carcass of who I was before, which started with an ‘I’.

    You are trés hilarious. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  250. […] just read a post on how your name defines your identity “What’s in a Name? Um, Only Everything” and it got me thinking about my name and how much thought parents must put into naming their child. […]

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